Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lumber shipping, and all the related fun

This past week has been a flurry of cutting planing,measuring, cutting, measuring, cutting cardboard,wrapping and measureing and weighing. I don't think the sisters who taught me would like that sentence. My apologies Sisters.

I have been cutting and wrapping and sending box kits out all over the USA for Charles Neil's box build. As  a one man shop, I have my furniture to build and business to take care of. Then you get about 25 orders and it kind of takes away what you are doing. Not that I am complaining at all. I love the contact with folks about lumber. I enjoy buying lumber and all the related things that go with it. Lifting , hauling, more lifting, more hauling. Hey , its good exercise.

When making up the kits, I always try and give a little extra. Mistakes happen. I have made so many, well, I am just glad I am still here.I got a list from Charles and then started going through piles and piles and pulling stock. Then you crosscut and figure and flip and flop boards. I found I had a lot of 5/4 with some heartwood on 1 side. I can deal with it, but a lot of folks don't know how. So I have a big pile of stuff for me to use on something else. That is an issue when you buy material. You can spec anything you want, but the more you want, the more it costs.
I try and give out all the material they will need and I also look at the grain and what the piece will be used for. I had some nice quartersawn curly cherry that went into some of the kits for feet and trim. It will look very nice. One thing, with small pieces like these tend to be, you kind of lost the curl figure in the cherry, because your parts are small and the figure is more broad. Flame birch wouldn't really look like much on a small box like this. You could use it for the sides. Then you will get to see the curl. But small parts are just that. Too small to show much.
I also try and mark the face or show side on the tiger maple. For whatever reason, tiger maple is the wood the shows best on the bark side of the board. The figure on the other side is never as good and does not show as well. Don't try book matching it. One piece looks great and one looks like plain maple. Its one question I really want to ask the big guy upstairs. Flame birch is kind of like that too. No issues with curly cherry or curly walnut. This is one of those weird wood facts you can use to astound your friends. Yeah, I wonder why I don't have more friends....
Anyway, I got a bunch gone and some more packed up. I am waiting on a few more folks to get back to me with some answers and then I will finish those too. Then you load the truck and drive to Green Bay,[home of the Packers], yes I am a big fan. I use Fed EX for shipping so I get to print out labels, tape them on to my wonderfully packaged wood and ship them on their way. I am understanding more why companies having shipping and packing departments and how much supplies cost. I spent  150$ just on cardboard. Then you get strapping stuff and time, well, its not a money maker. But it is good fun to talk with folks and tell stories.  Hope I didn't bore to tears, but this is part of my business too. Thanks to the folks who buy my wood. I do appreciate it. Hope you like what you get. Any issues call the boss. Thats me. I will always make it right.


  1. I love reading your blog!
    Shelley G.

  2. Thanks Shelley. I didn't know I could make this fun! But I do enjoy it. bob